Sip on the ultimate in sophistication with our Manhattan cocktail recipe, a classic cocktail that never goes out of style. Made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, this drink is perfect for any occasion!
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We love cocktails like a good dirty martini, a whiskey sour, or Long Island iced tea.
But we were in the mood for more classic cocktails and so we got to work on the most fabulous Manhattan cocktail, which we know you’ll love!
Why you’ll love this easy Manhattan recipe
- It’s a stylish cocktail made with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen!
- If you love whiskey drinks, then this is perfect for you!
- The Manhattan classic cocktail is a real crowd pleaser, men and women alike love it.
- A great cocktail to make ahead and perfect for a party and sipping on a hot summer’s day.
- All the ingredients are 100% vegetarian.
What ingredients do I need?
You’ll need all the ingredients shown in the photograph below.
The perfect Manhattan cocktail is easier to make than you think, and it looks so stylish with a delicious cherry garnish – you need this at your next party!
How to make a Manhattan cocktail with step by step instructions
Making our Manhattan cocktail recipe is easy if you follow our simple instructions.
A full printable recipe and the measurements in both US customary and metric are available in the recipe card below.
Add a handful of ice cubes to a cocktail mixing glass, then add rye whiskey, Italian vermouth, and bitters.
Stir for 30 seconds and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with cocktail cherry or a lemon twist.
Serve and enjoy your Manhattan cocktail – cheers!
We hope you enjoy making and drinking our classic Manhattan cocktail recipe and would love to hear how you got on with making it.
Please leave a comment below and feel free to ask any questions you may have.
Recipe notes and expert tips
Chill your glass before you use it and your cocktail will stay cooler longer.
- Cherry juice
Adding a splash of cherry juice will give your cocktail a stunning dark color.
- Make ahead
Make your Manhattan ahead of time, simply mix it, strain it and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.
- Maraschino cherries
We absolutely LOVE Luxardo cherries, but if you don’t have them, use cocktail cherries.
What type of cocktail is a Manhattan?
There are many cocktails that are considered classics, but the Manhattan may just be the king of them all.
A Manhattan is a type of cocktail that is made with whiskey, vermouth, and bitters.
We use a cocktail mixing glass and stir, but some use a cocktail shaker and shake to create a froth.
The drink is usually served in a glass that has been chilled and it is garnished with a maraschino cherry.
There are many different recipes for Manhattans, but the most popular version is made with rye whiskey, which is the whiskey we have used.
What is the difference between a Manhattan and an old fashioned?
When you are ordering a classic cocktail, one of the most common decisions to make is between a Manhattan and an old fashioned.
But what’s the difference between the two?
A classic Manhattan is made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
An old fashioned is made with bourbon, sugar, water, and bitters.
The main difference is that Manhattans are stirred with ice and then strained into a glass, while old fashioneds are muddled with sugar and ice and then strained into a glass.
Another difference is that Manhattans typically have a cherry or orange slice as a garnish, while old fashioneds typically have a lemon or orange slice as a garnish.
Is a Manhattan a martini?
When most people think of a martini, they think of a drink made with gin and dry vermouth.
But there are many variations on the martini, including the Manhattan.
A Manhattan is made with whiskey instead of gin, and it’s often served with sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters.
So, is a Manhattan a martini?
The answer is yes, and no.
The classic martini is made with gin, whereas the Manhattan uses whiskey.
However, both drinks are typically served with dry vermouth and are garnished with an olive or a lemon twist.
So, while there may be some debate over whether or not a Manhattan is a true martini, the two drinks share many similarities.
And they’re both delicious cocktails that are perfect for enjoying on a warm summer evening or at a holiday party.
Angostura bitters add complexity
Angostura orange bitters add complexity to cocktails such as the Manhattan.
The orange and spice flavors of the bitters balance the sweetness of the sweet vermouth and whiskey rye, creating a well-rounded drink.
Without angostura, Manhattans would be much simpler and far less interesting!
Top Manhattan with a cherry… a Luxardo cherry!
Luxardo cherries, a type of Marasca cherry, are named after the distillery in Italy where they are made.
The Luxardo company has been making these cherries since 1821. They are Luxardo’s most popular product.
The cherries are soaked in alcohol and then allowed to soak in Luxardo’s Maraschino liqueur.
This gives them their delicious and unique flavor.
The liqueur is made from sour Marasca cherries, sugar, and other natural flavors.
Manhattan cocktail variations
The Manhattan is one of those classic cocktails that has many variations, all with their own unique flavor profiles.
A popular variation is the Rob Roy, which uses scotch whiskey in place of rye whisky.
There are also several different types of Manhattans that use bourbon whiskey instead of rye whisky, such as the Kentucky Colonel and the Southern Gentleman.
Using bourbon will give you a sweeter Manhattan.
What glass do you serve a Manhattan cocktail in?
Ask different bartenders and you’ll get different answers.
We’ve used a coupe glass because that’s what we prefer, but you could also use a martini glass, or an old fashioned glass.
We say use whatever glass you prefer!
More easy cocktails for you to try
If you love our perfect Manhattan cocktail, then you should take a look at these!
- 1 handful Ice cubes
- 2 oz Rye whiskey
- 1 oz Sweet red vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Luxardo cherries to garnish
- Add a handful of ice to a mixing glass and then add rye whiskey, vermouth, and angostura bitters. Stir for 30 seconds1 handful Ice cubes, 2 oz Rye whiskey, 1 oz Sweet red vermouth, 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a luxardo cherry or lemon twist. Serve and enjoy your Manhattan cocktail!Luxardo cherries
Please note that nutrient values are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.
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